The collective cultural spirit and traditional habits of Indian people have been transformed unbelievably in the last 100 years. For thousands of years, religious rituals had been linked closely with offerings to the five elements of nature (earth, water, fire, air and space) with Gods presiding over each of these 5 elements. Thus, care to nature was inbuilt within our cultural systems then. Now, whatever material benefits were perceived then as given by Gods themselves are perceived mostly from a scientific/materialistic stance viewed through the eyeglasses of technologies and machines. Gods’ roles has become almost reduced to ancient relics...Read More
Author: K. Bharath Kumar
Lord Shiva has taken many forms to rescue humanity and other Gods from calamities. One significant but lesser known avataar is that of Sri Sarabeshwara. Lord Sarabeshwara incarnated to calm down Lord Narasimha (Man-Lion Avataar of Lord Vishnu) whose wrath was unstoppable even after His work of slaying demon king Hiranyakashipu was completed. Sarabeshwara is Lord Shiva’s Cosmic form with His crescent moon and Ganga on His divine head, face of a Sarabha bird with two wings representing His Shaktis – lion-headed Prathyangira Devi and Trident-holding Shoolini Durga Devi. Sarabeswara’s middle portion of the body is human-like with four...Read More
The saint Manikkavaachagar was born in the village of Thiruvaadhavur (near Madurai) in Tamil Nadu around the 9th century A.D. He was bestowed this name for his gem-like words and captivating devotional verses. Manikkavaachagar (often called ‘Manivaachagar’) served for a while as the minister to the Pandiyan King by name – Arimarthana Pandiyan. He was an efficient administrator but his heart was not in the affairs of the world and was focused on obtaining Lord Shiva’s grace only. He thus incurred the king’s anger on many occassions. Lord Shiva saved him from the wrath of the Pandiyan king on...Read More
There are several documented incidents of Hindu Gods and Saints responding to prayers and devotion of foreigners while staying in India and also blessing people of other religions residing in India. The few instances mentioned here show that God looks at something deeper in devotees than just race, religion or national origin. 1. Pazhani, Tamil Nadu (550 – 300 BCE) Bhoghar Siddhar of Sri Pazhani Dandayudhapani Temple fame was considered by many to be of Chinese origin by birth. Lord Muruga appeared to him and bestowed him all yogic siddhis inspite of his Chinese origin. He crafted the idol of...Read More
The Gayatri Mantra is considered the most sacred of all mantras in Sanaatana Dharma (Vedic Hindu religion). Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that among all the mantras, He is the Gayatri. The Gayatri Mantra originates from the Rig Veda – the most ancient of Indian scriptures and the Mantra’s power was revealed to Brahmarishi Vishwamitra. It is known as Gayatri as it is set on the Vedic meter called ‘Gayatri’. It is made of three lines with eight syllables in each totalling twenty four syllables. It is also called ‘Savitri Mantra’ as it invokes ‘Savitr’ – a...Read More
India’s secular principles adopted in the Indian Constitution and followed in all governmental works after independence (with the noble intent of promoting equality of all religions and showing impartiality), has helped minimize communal tensions, but has unknowingly de-linked Gods and ancient wisdom of the ages from the official machinery and decision-making processes (both in government and in workplaces today). As India continues to follow unsustainable lifestyles and values followed in the developed countries, respect for indigenous virtuous qualities has become lesser and replaced by corporate-inspired measurement yardsticks. Activities of a spiritual nature such as yoga, meditation, silence, fasting, walking,...Read More
The Aditya Hridayam Stotram (literally, the “Sun Heart”) was composed by one of the greatest Maharshis of Bhaarat (India) – Sage Agastya. On the battlefield, he sees Lord Sri Rama depleted of physical energy and lacking hope and mental strength – after fighting a fierce battle with the demon King Ravana for several days. Sage Agastya reminded Sri Rama of the Sun God’s (also called Surya or Aditya) full glory and unlimited prowess through the Aditya Hridayam Stotra. He describes the entire cosmos and nature’s cycles in this Stotra and Lord Surya’s integral and vital role in sustaining inter-related components...Read More
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